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'The Pride of Clustanians' is a 'written episode' telling the story of when Finnel first arrived in Great Fang, which was written in first-person narrative. It is the excerpt from pages 40-41 of Ar tonelico 3 Settei book.

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'I'll probably die soon…'

I really thought that was the case.

Ferocious fangs and fearsome growl… I was on the verge of a desperate crisis. In the next instant, those rabid claws kicked the ground and it flew towards me!

'Gyahhhhhhhh!!'

What a terrible way to die… was what I thought. However, I didn't experience a slightest hint of death. By the time I came to senses, a human male who looked like a knight saved me.

'This isn't a place for a girl to be dawdling alone!'

The tension suddenly snapped, and I completely sank to the ground.



That was a few days since I bustled out of Clustania. I was searching for a city in a cave, but soon got lost and wandered aimlessly for god-knows-how-many days. One step away from becoming a wolf's prey, this happened. Embarrassingly I wasn't even able to walk on my own, so that knight had to carry me piggyback, and somehow I made it to a city. The man was worried about me and even offered me food, but I refused.

'No, thank you. I am deeply grateful for taking me all the way here.' *(translator note: the word choice was formal, polite, and implies distance & reserve)*

It was disgraceful enough to be carried all the way there, to go as far as taking alms was unimaginable. Proud nationals of Clustania, calm and… errr… anyway, those are the principles I had to uphold. We should not let our guards down and jovially talk to humans.

The man bitterly smiled, told me to be more careful, and left. I felt a little guilty, but he was a human so I guess it's alright…

… or not. Actually I do feel uneasy about it. At that point I really was no-good. If that was Akane-chan, I'm sure she could pull through and still respond with a 'graceful reply'.

In that fashion, after innumerable days, I finally arrived at 'Eternus Shaft'.

Eternus Shaft is a totally squalid place. It couldn't be more different from Clustania. Honestly speaking, in the first few days I felt dizzy walking around it. So dirty, so shabby. When people talk about heaven and hell, this must be it. Making it all the way to the city relieved me a bit, but then how long could I stand this place? Anyhow, I needed to rest. I pulled myself together and searched for a hotel. But there was none. I guessed this place called an 'inn' would be equivalent to a hotel?

I finally stumbled upon one outside of the city square, but it was totally run-down, and I didn't feel like staying there at all. But for me on that day, it was what it was. If it could save my day I'd gladly take it. I heard that in Great Fang or in Arkia, Clustanians only need to state their names and they will let you stay for free. So that was what I tried: I proudly stated my name and that I am a Clustanian. However, they gave me a furious look. And then I was chased away by two or three male adults. It was a terrible mess. Apparently that was in revenge for their family and friends who got Cleansed a few days earlier.

I was totally devastated, and I had no clue what to do anymore. Outside the city was dangerous, and now, so was the inside. With nowhere to go, and still in fear of being chased away again, I cowered and trembled alone in a corner of a random house. Endless tears flooded my eyes, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stop them.

'Move aside a bit, will you? That is where I throw rubbish away.'

Not even a space to belong to, again. I hastily shook off my tears, then staggeringly but quickly tried to get lost from there.

'Wait! Were you crying just now?'



That place was a Teishoku-ya. *(A restaurant that serves set meals, hereafter called 'Bistro' to comply with the localised version)*

Auntie Lu, an industrious lady who runs the place called 'Yokkora Bistro', pitied me and took me, who was still crying, inside.

'What happened, my dear? I'm all ears, if you're willing to.'

'……'

'Well, if you don't want to I won't force you to. By the way, you haven't eaten anything have you? Wait a sec here, okay?'

How did she know about that…? But indeed, that was the case. In a blink of an eye, she came back with a set meal, within it a mountain of sliced cabbage.

'Here, help yourself to it.'

I was taken aback. How strange was that, for food to be brought to me—and that amount of cabbage—without having stated my name? Auntie Lu looked at utterly confused me, and cracked a bright smile.

'Don't worry. It's only natural to help those in need.'

In front of me was a Yokkora Set Meal.

One bite in, and tears started flowing yet again. What is this deliciousness!?

Afterwards, I began to calm down a little, and so I started telling my situation to Auntie Lu, bit by bit: that I got lost in the cave, that I had nowhere to go… Obviously I kept to myself the fact that I am a Pureblooded β-type from Clustania. After the mess that happened at that inn, certainly it was not something I could talk about.

And that was the correct decision.

When I lied to her that I am a Third Generation, she appeared genuinely relieved.

'Even if you're also a Reyvateil, because I could never forgive those Clustanian βs….'

Then she told me about her past, that her late husband was killed by a Clustanian assassin. It wasn't even during a war or anything, just an ordinary day during peacetime. He was sleeping, and suddenly, that was it, that was his last day.

'Don't give it too much thought. Those scums from Clustania are all rotten, y'know. Now, it's getting late, let's go to bed. If you don't mind, you can sleep here.'

With those words, she beamed at me again.

That night, for the first time in Great Fang, I slept in a futon on the second floor of Yokkora.

While laying in bed, I couldn't stop thinking about what happened that day. Auntie Lu was such a nice person. She couldn't be more different than what I was taught about humans back in Clustania.

And then about how I coldly responded to that man who saved my life in the cave, that thought kept lingering in my mind. With all that in mind, when I woke up the next morning, I said to Auntie Lu:

'Ah... I will work to repay your treat from yesterday! Please let me work here!'

Proud nationals of Clustania, calm and dignified, their minds as vast as the blue skies. Never self-effacing, nor arrogant, always being true to their true being… I thought… surely the maxim stands true even towards humans. If you're going to act arrogantly and put on airs selectively based on the counterpart, that's not being true to your true being is it?

Auntie Lu bursted into a laughter.

'That's magnificent! Last night I thought you were just a runaway girl, but I guess I was wrong. Oh, this is superb. Then today I'll let you work here for one day. It's gonna be one heck of a busy day. Of course staff meals are included!'

And that was how I became a waitress at Yokkora Bistro for one day.

Being a waitress is easy…. was what I thought. But no more than 5 minutes later, that thought completely vaporised. Carrying trays with soups on them without spilling was unexpectedly difficult. And then to remember all the orders without fail, and to bring them out following the queued orders! Oh my! One lapse of inattention and I would miss the guests' callings. And I needed to play along with lewd jokes of those geezers!

Never thought it could be such a tough job… At this moment and this moment only, I kinda resented Akane-chan a bit, who taught me about proud nationals of Clustania, yadda yadda yadda.

At the moment of that very thought, a cute but strict voice—totally out of place in this bistro—resounded within the space.

'Tengai_lx.Constructor.Mizumoritou! You are arrested for an act of defamation!'

I was shocked. That was the Clustanian Army. And to read aloud someone's Control Name like that…

'What's with you girls? If you're our guests, come in and order. If not, be gone!'

Before I noticed it, Auntie Lu was already confronting the Clustanian Army.

'You're the owner of this place? If you're sheltering a criminal, that makes you an accomplice! That scoundrel spitted on us while we were on patrol duty. Surely we will not let him off.'

'Oh? How petty is that? And then what? What will you do with us? You're gonna Cleanse us? Do if you dare! But you know what? This is my shop. And that guest ordered a Yokkora Set Meal just now. I don't know how great you are, but  here, that person is ten times greater than you! Got it? Now get lost!

That was an intense standoff. Then the guests got caught up with the moment, jeering loudly at the Clustanian Army. But the girls did not budge at all.

'Do you the meaning of your words? Arrest these people. Take them to Slave District.'

'Hold on!'

I shouted on the spur of the moment. It was only a few seconds later that I realised… what I had got myself into: I thought the fact that I am a Clustanian would be exposed. But the Army did not notice that at all.

'What's wrong with this girl? If you're going to interfere, you'll be sent to Slave District too.'

'Ah,  Ahh….! To… to be Cleansed just because of a spit,… I think that's harsh!'

'What a load of nonsense! Until this very day, proud nationals of Clustania have never been spitted on! Not even once!'

'I've had that done to me several times!! ……! ……Wait, that's not it!! So to Cleanse these people…!'

'Enough. We're not getting anywhere. Let's just send each and everyone of them to hell.'

Unexpectedly, the Clustanian Army girls started singing a Song Magic in that cramped place! If a Song Magic were to be released in such place, Yokkora would just vanish into thin air…

People tried to flee the scene. But with the Army blocking the exit, those efforts were in vain. As they watched the humans running in panic, those girl smirked and said,

'We're conducting a localised Cleansing. This is also for the sake of this world. Now repent for your sins and die!'

In that moment, a flash of memory came into my mind. It was a memory when I parted with Akane-chan, and she gave me a charm…

'Finnel, since you're a bit prone to getting yourself tangled in a mess, take this with you.'

'Eh…? What… is this?

'It's a charm. If you channel your thought into it and cite this spell, this thing will protect you from an attack or an explosion, but only for once. The Clustanian Army has this with them for worst case scenarios. Actually, I want to give you a lot more of it if I could.'

'That's okay. One is enough. Thank you… I'll treasure it like how I treasure you!'

I had no idea how much protection the thing would give me, but if possible I wanted to protect Yokkora. I'm sorry Akane-chan… I didn't expect to use it this early… Back then I felt a brief moment of unease, but more pressing was the desperate urge to protect the people of Great Fang.

Please, Akane-chan! Protect us!!

'Commence the Cleansing!'

'Rrha ki ra khal hers!!'

Those words resonated at the about the same time.

Unmistakably, a Song Magic was released. But it was instantaneously nullified.

Akane-chan's charm shattered and fell to my feet……

Everyone looked confused as to what just happened. Utter silence befell Yokkora for a moment.

The first party to break that silence, was those Clustanian Army.

And they were the words I feared the most.

'You! That charm… Could it be that you're a Clustanian!? Why are you getting in our way!? State your name!!'

People started buzzing. Auntie Lu gazed at me, eyes wide open.

'I am Finnel. And yes! I am a Clustanian, just like you girls. But what's wrong with me getting in the way!? I stand firm that I won't overlook this terrible act of you all! I'm saying, you're terrible! Was that really an act of convictions that proud Clustanians preach!?'

'Hmph. We will report this to the headquarter. We will withdraw for now.'

And with that, the Clustanian Army left.

Everyone there was either dazed, or just looking at each other, but then someone shouted in delight, and then everyone erupted into deafening cheers.

But I just sank to the floor.

Yokkora, the first place I felt warmth ever since coming to Great Fang. And Auntie Lu. But then I lied to her, which was now exposed. I… betrayed Auntie Lu's trust.

But there was no use to fret over it. I had to clean up my own mess. I muttered to Auntie Lu who was standing next to me, without looking up and feeling like I was about to faint.

'I'm sorry, I… lied to you. Thank you for yesterday. I won't forget it for the rest of my life. So then…'

I wobbled as I stood up, and as I tried to leave the place, Auntie Lu grasped my arm.

Then she glared at me and said,

'Wait! Didn't you ask me to let you work here? So now you know what the work is about, you're giving up?'

'Eh… b… but…'

'Huh, as expected young people these days aren't up to scratch. And I thought you are gonna work with me for a while longer.'

'Ehhhhh!? Then….!?'

'Are you gonna work here!? Are you not gonna work here!? I'm busy, so make up your mind quickly!'

'Y… yes! I will gladly do that!'

'Good grief. I'd appreciate if you said that from the beginning. In that case, go take orders from those peeps over there! For chaps who don't order, see them off!'

With that, Auntie Lu hastily walked away. But before she left, she said this to me,

'Now I understand that even amongst Clustanians, there are good girls and bad girls. Thanks for earlier.'

That was such a warm feeling that I had never experienced before, and I couldn't hold back my tears again.



That night, on the roof of Yokkora, a girl was staring into the distant alone.

'Oh my my. I was drenched in cold sweat this time, but gladly it wasn't my turn. Now then, it's time for some clean-up.' *(translator note: the first-person pronoun in this quote is 'boku' which implies that it's Soma)*

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